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Why Can’t I Get Just One Kiss?

Kisses (shorty76)

I can remember the time when I decided I was no longer going to kiss my parents.  I was still in junior school, which means the oldest I could have been was 11, but I had this idea that only little boys kissed their parents and I was no longer a little boy.

As an adult I am not anti-public displays of affection.  I have no problem kissing or hugging my wife or holding her hand in public.  I am not the most open, though, when it comes to showing my feelings.  I am very good at hiding whatever it is that is going on deep inside of me so that it is often impossible for others to know if I am ecstatic, deeply depressed or just plain ambivalent.  I have been told I have the same expressions for all these moods and more.

Before our son was born my wife sometimes panicked that I wouldn’t show emotion towards my son.  She was afraid that I wouldn’t kiss him or hug him.  Part of me was offended by this idea of me, of course I was going to kiss him, just so long as he wanted me to.  But then I wouldn’t show I was offended because, well, that would mean showing emotion.

Eskimo kisses (McBeth)

When Mr. T was born I didn’t kiss him straight away.  This was not down to some hyper-male repressed emotions thing, but a rational fear.  Of all the things I would like to pass on to my son: my stunning good looks, sky-high IQ, great sense of humour, support for The Blues and my modesty, there was one thing I absolutely did not want to pass on to him: my cold sores.

In Brazil cold sores are called herpes because they are essentially the same virus and believe you me, it is almost as embarrassing to get a cold sore as it is to have the other version of herpes.

I have read that the main way to pass on herpes or cold sores or whatever you want to call them is when an adult kisses a baby.  I was determined not to let this happen and so for the first few weeks I gave him Eskimo kisses instead of the more traditional kisses.  I am half convinced that the first word he learnt was ‘Eskimo’ as daddy came in for another nose rub.

Over time I grew less paranoid about passing on my dreaded disease.  If I felt a tingle in my lips then I wouldn’t kiss him, but thankfully since he was born I haven’t had an outbreak of cold sores so it hasn’t been an issue.

Until last week.

I had a terrible Tuesday.  I woke up at about 2 am with an ache in my back.  Try as I might I couldn’t get back to sleep.  A couple of hours later I had an ache in every muscle and joint in my body.  When I eventually got up I was tired to the bone, more that could be explained just by a lack of sleep.

Pucker up (Kit Keat)

I cancelled all of my classes and got ready to spend the day on the sofa watching repeats of The Sopranos (I have decided to watch all 5 seasons in one go).  Unfortunately at 3pm a big storm hit and knocked out all the electricity for a few hours, so I had nothing to do except lie on the sofa feeling sorry for myself.

Fortunately it was just a 24 hour thing and so the next day, while I was still a bit stiff in my muscles, I was essentially fine.  I went back to classes and life resumed as normal.  On the Saturday I felt a tingle in my lips and rushed to find my Zovirax which normally does the trick.  By Sunday I had cold sores all over my bottom lip and I was constantly applying more and more cream to fight it off.

It was painful.  It was embarrassing.  It was at times difficult to eat.  But the worst part was that I couldn’t kiss my son.  he isn’t the most affectionate of children, but he does like the occasional kiss and cuddle.  But when he came to me for a kiss, I was too afraid to even give him a nose rub.  It hurt, and not on a physical level but deep down inside me.

After about a week the sores had all but disappeared, but i I was still worried about kissing him properly.  I resumed the Eskimo kisses, but it wasn’t enough.

He has just gone to bed now and my mouth feels fine.  I think tomorrow I am going to give him a great big kiss.  Assuming he lets me, of course.

Violent Femmes – Add It Up: it contains the lyric ‘Why can’t I get just one kiss?’  This is one of my all time favourite songs.

Or maybe this is a better version.  I just don’t know.

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Written by
Noah Cooper

I'm the head of the Cooper heard. My wife and I moved abroad when our first son who came along in May, 2011. I am a typical Brit abroad with a family to raise and am sharing the journey of the expat life abroad.

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Written by Noah Cooper